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Old 06-17-2013, 01:31 PM   #31
HarryT
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How are they responding to the Idea that "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale"?
May I ask why you think that publishers do believe this?
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #32
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May I ask why you think that publishers do believe this?
I don't think you can view an entire industry as having a single mindset, that there would be some that have adopted the "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale" belief, in the corporate boardrooms of the BPHs, would be inevitable. The slower than would be expected adoption of e-books by some publishing houses (of course we who frequent MR, are more familiar with those that are providing e-books) might be one indication. Their handling of the "Backlist Issue", seems, to me at least, to indicate a reluctance to embrace the potential of e-book publishing.

Luck;
Ken

P.S.; There is also the title of this thread.

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Old 06-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
The "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale" belief of the BPHs, is a little odd, in the business sense. They must see a number of things that make for lost sales, how they respond to them means a lot.

Every competitor's p-book sale, is a lost sale. So, the need to gain market share, maybe lower prices.

Bad customer servicing results in lost sales. Appoint or Fire a director of customer relations. Take it more seriously.

A competitor's product has features that are more in demand than the features on our product, which leads to lost sales. We need to beef up Product Development, find some new talent.

Misdirected marketing leads to lost sales. Find out who wants our product and how to reach them. Do, or better yet, pay for a market study.

How are they responding to the Idea that "Every e-book sale is a lost p-book sale"?

I have no answer, just the perception that their response has not been effective, (or perhaps even rational) and that they would just as soon ignore the existence of e-books.

Luck;
Ken
I like mystery series, and there are about ten or so that I would buy faithfully, in hardcover, as they were published each year--usually the discounted price at Amazon would be around $15 apiece. I would buy other hardcovers as well.

Now I buy these same titles as e-books, for around $10-$12 apiece. Each one is a lost hardcover sale.

It has nothing to do with competitors, because books aren't interchangeable. If I want this book by this author, I'm not going to go off and buy that book by that author instead.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:32 PM   #34
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May I ask why you think that publishers do believe this?
I suggested earlier in the thread that e-book sales undercut paper book sales.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #35
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I suggested earlier in the thread that e-book sales undercut paper book sales.
I'm pretty sure they do. Does anyone really doubt that?

On the other hand, ebooks expand books to a larger market and enable more books to be sold. So it's a tradeoff and market shift, but I think still a net gain for the industry. Publisher's real problem is that changing a business model is hard.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #36
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I suggested earlier in the thread that e-book sales undercut paper book sales.
But if the publisher makes at least as much profit from the ebook as the pbook, why should they see ebooks as disadvantageous?
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:03 PM   #37
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They may have a bug in their brain about ebook piracy.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #38
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But if the publisher makes at least as much profit from the ebook as the pbook, why should they see ebooks as disadvantageous?
Do they? I'm thinking that the hardcover sales generate more profit than the e-book sales, but I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:28 PM   #39
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But if the publisher makes at least as much profit from the ebook as the pbook, why should they see ebooks as disadvantageous?
They might believe that digital distribution will eventually push prices lower. Or that without paper distribution, the publishing houses will become much less relevant. As kirtai mentioned, there are also piracy fears that could come into play.

Whatever the reason, they seem to be lagging behind. Due to the snail's pace of my internet connection, ebooks are one of the few areas where online distribution makes sense for me.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #40
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Honestly, I don't see what is keeping publishers from supporting e-books, except for the "fear of piracy". P-books are formated on computers. It shouldn't be that hard to make a .pdf out of it. Of course that ties them with Adobe and they probably have to pay for it (or at least for teh accompanying drm), but whatever they choose is fine (it was the easiest way I could think of) as long as they all choose the same. E-reader will then update their software to read it or go down.

They could even make more profit as they could simply skip the retailer part (they would have to build a selling platform so some cost there). Seriously, what do you need a retailer for? If you don't need a place for people to physically buy the books...

The retailers though should be wary. Even if they start selling e-books through their websites, they would still have to deal with their task force if labor law doesn't allow them to lay people off unless they go bankrupt...
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #41
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But if the publisher makes at least as much profit from the ebook as the pbook, why should they see ebooks as disadvantageous?
Also, I can say that if my buying habits are any indication, e-books actually cut into the profits of used bookstores (and trading sites like paperbackswap.) That is obviously a win for the publishers.

For brand new books that have been released in hardcover, I don't have a huge problem with the ebook being in the $12.99 to $15.99 range since that is less than or equal to a discounted hardback. I wouldn't necessarily pay those prices with regularity myself (just as I rarely purchased hardbacks pre-ebook), but I don't have a problem with it.

Backlist titles are largely way overpriced though, in my opinion. I snagged some Stuart Macbride mysteries for a dollar or two apiece, but that is the exception (for traditionally published works). I wish more backlist titles were discounted ($5 or less), it would be a boon for avid readers as well as generating interest in an author's newer (and of course, pricier) titles. Would seem to be a win/win scenario. But I guess that goes back to the title of this thread...

Last edited by usuallee; 06-20-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #42
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maybe, but besides the materials involved in a hardback - ink, paper, cardboard, binding stuff - there's also cleaning materials to work with the printing, storage and shipping, some damaged units as losses. i suspect hardbacks include a higher number of returns, but that's speculation on my part.

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Do they? I'm thinking that the hardcover sales generate more profit than the e-book sales, but I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:04 AM   #43
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I don't know how it is in other countries but there are several difficulties to selling e-books in France (not all of these are justified though). We have many small publisher and small libraries here... I discussed this with friends who worked in libraries and at publishing houses (and who are dead set against e-books ^^)

-> The publisher might not want to because:
- He bought a new printer and need a return on investment
- He doesn't understand the economic model of selling e-books
- He doesn't know the technology to make good e-books
- There is no standard format
- Employees need to be trained
- Their books are not readable on e-readers so far (think arts, color textbooks, comics, children books...)
- They fear piracy
- They love paper books
- They fear the lack of visibility
- They fear that the book won't be promoted
- They fear libraries will refuse to sell the paper book if there is an e-book
-> The retailer might not want to because:
- He may lose paper book sales
- His task force could become useless
- He could lose his business entirely
- and again, they love paper books and fear piracy
Both retailers and publishers have powerful unions here. Not to mention buyers/readers who still find many reasons to prefer paper books to e-books here. We do so love paper here...
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #44
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I think we have to look at the sad history of Britannica Encyclopedia.

Their sales force which was the heart of the company (or at least they thought so) didn't want to try and sell CDs or DVDs with the Encyclopedia for many reasons, a big one being they couldn't promote that "book shelf" full of "handsomely bound books."

So eventually the company crashed. Now there is no sales force, that I know of anyway.

I still remember the story about the sales person coming to the apartment we lived in and going into her spiel and refusing to give the price until my parents had sat there and heard, and heard, and heard.
She actually had the thought (and probably technique) that she wouldn't give the price until a commitment had been made to buy.

Finally a compromise was made, probably because she was tired.
Yes we really really were interested in buying.
But we still had to see if it was affordable no matter the finance plan offered.
But yes, yes, we would buy if we could manage to afford it.
She gave the price.
... a moment's hesitation.
"No, thanks."

She was outraged. Never had she been through the entire (her) program and not had responsive interested customers of a decent sort at least, say yes.

She might or might not have been spouting a load of crap, but she would have saved some time for both parties giving out a price.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #45
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One EMP and we are probably screwed enough to not care about whether my Science Fiction collection survived

Most of our infrastructure now uses Solid State controllers somewhere.

Even the Beer Delivery truck, won't run without the required Diesel (at least in California) emissions/EFI controller functioning.

How many of you still have appliances with NO solid state controllers (just use the old mechanical timers with the Knob)?
I do still have two stoves that way (and the propane stuff in the camper). Nothing in the main house though (and we got hit with some bad storms this year, so had to replace controller boards in both a frig and the stove. ouch!)
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